My Hubby and I have been married for 12 years (actually 13 next month), and this is something I was convicted about early on - even before we were married. I have, throughout our married life, made it a point not to say things in public that would tear down my husband or would cause others to lose respect for him. Just like Christine (whose post is referenced), I remember sitting in Sunday School classes and Bible studies, also, and cringing when women would say just awful things about their husbands, but they were said as jokes. Hubby and I once had a discussion after one couples Sunday School class meeting when we'd heard that type of talk (from husband and wife) about how there must be problems in a marriage where such unkind things can be said so publicly in a joking manner. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't say things in public that could hurt my husband - even in jest. Because often there is truth in humor - if I can say something hurtful in a joke, I'm probably nurturing unkind thoughts in my heart.
Also, I have worked hard to make sure I nurture thoughts about him that honor him and cause me to think well of him. That's not to say there haven't been temptations to be frustrated or angry with him (neither of us is perfect, after all), but I actively turn those thoughts over to the Lord when they come and trust Him to change first my own heart and then the situation if He wills. And it really does make a difference in our marriage. When I allow negative thoughts a prominent place in my mind, I can see a difference in the way I act toward Hubby and how I respond to things he says. This is when I realize that I am sinning, and need to fix my own attitude, rather than focus on his faults. I can honestly say that in the 12+ years we've been married, Hubby and I have not had a serious argument, and my respect for him has just grown and grown. I am so thankful that God put us together, and I'm thankful He is teaching me how to properly love this man that He brought into my life so that we could share the journey through life together.
I love what Dan Phillips said at the end of his post:
"The godly wife will soon learn what husbands learn as well: such change is
beyond us. Our fallen nature hates God, hates His authority, direct or delegated
(Romans 8:7; 13:1ff.). We love our fleshly passions. We cannot merely try harder. We must be born again (John 3:3), and then we must be filled with God's Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), and stop making enabling excuses for our flesh (Romans 13:14). Only by the Spirit of God can the righteousness of God start to work out in our lives (Romans 8:4, 12-14)."
This is so true. Only by God's grace and the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives can either of us be the spouse we're supposed to be. And I am really accountable to God for the kind of wife I am. It doesn't matter if my husband does right, but I must do right to honor my Savior. But, I must say, in our case, my husband makes this so much easier because he does such a great job of loving his wife.